New Solar Incentives Pay Big in Washington

You could earn good money from new solar panels for eight years, covering up to 80% of your solar system cost.

If you live in Washington and you’ve been thinking about going solar, now is a good time to act. The Washington State Legislature passed a revised production incentive program on July 1, 2017. Enjoy your own clean, green energy produced right at home, while getting healthy incentives back over eight years.

The new Washington State solar production incentives

This new production-based incentive pays you for the energy you produce. Starting October 1, 2017, Washington-made panels will get you $0.21 for every kilowatt-hour of solar energy produced, while panels made outside of Washington get paid $0.16 for every kilowatt hour (rates will be lower for systems installed after 2018).

Get up to 80% off

There are some caps and restrictions, but you can still cover up to 80 percent of your system cost. The system can be a maximum of 12 KW. Yearly payouts are capped at $5,000 per year, and total payouts cannot exceed 50 percent of your total system costs. Throw in the 30% federal tax credit for your installed solar system, and you could be eligible for up to 80 percent off. For questions about your eligibility for the 30% federal tax credit, we recommend you consult with your tax professional.


A 4.72 KW system that produces 5,715 kilowatt hours per year, typical for Clark County, may cost about $20,000 but you could expect a $6,000 federal tax credit along with approximately $9,000 in incentive payments over 8 years, for a net cost of just $5,000.

How it works

The new incentives apply only to new systems. Owners will pay a one-time fee of $125 to fund the tracking and certification systems. Your solar provider will install a production meter to measure the energy your solar panels produce. At the close of the state’s fiscal year around June 30, your meter usage will be processed and you’ll receive payment for the year’s production.